Columbia, SC (WLTX, USA Today) -- The national reaction to the killing of a 17-year-old unarmed teen in Sanford, Florida is beginning to show in South Carolina.
House Representative Bakari Sellers of Bamberg County has introduced legislation to to repeal the state's Stand Your Ground Law in reaction to the teen's death.
28-year-old George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman, admitted to shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Matin, but called the action self-defense -- gaining him protection under Florida's Stand Your Ground Law.
The South Carolina's Stand Your Ground Law says:
"A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in another place where he has a right to be, including, but not limited to, his place of business, has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force, if he reasonably believes it is necessary to prevent death or great bodily injury to himself or another person or to prevent the commission of a violent crime as defined in Section 16-1-60."
Sellers' bill would eliminate that section from South Carolina's Code of Laws.
"It could be me walking up to you with a sweet tea and skittles as young Trayvon was, maybe with a hoodie on, and you feel threatened -- you can't just shoot me. You have to do everything you can to retreat, you can't actually chase me down and kill me," said Sellers of the proposed change.
He says his bill does not change the state's Castle Doctrine, allowing people to protect their homes.
On his desk in the House Chamber sits a bottle of sweet tea with "Remembering...Trayvon Martin" signs on both sides. Seller says passing the measure will take education because some of his collegues don't know about the case, but he's hopeful the change take South Carolina out of the "cowboy mentality."
The Democrat says he's disappointed it took someone's death to show whether a law is good or bad, and he'd hate to see a case similar to Trayvon Martin's happen in South Carolina.
"Hopefully people think it's a good piece of legislation," said Sellers. "At the end of the day, Trayvon Martin could have been Bakari Sellers."